Timeline Project Ideas for High School

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has taught high school history in several states with a master's degree in teaching.

Timeline projects can be easily incorporated into almost every subject of the high school curriculum. They show continuity and change over a given time period by highlighting notable events. They can be made using various media and can be done individually or in groups.

Timelines As a Learning Tool

Timelines, or ways of displaying events over a given period of time, are something students first create in elementary school. However, they are still a useful tool in high school when taken beyond the basics of a series of dates and information. Timelines are useful in showing change and continuity, cause and effect and how beliefs change over time. For many visual learners, timelines help organize events and see how one thing led to another. These project ideas are primarily intended for a history class, but could easily be adapted to other subjects. For example, in an English class, students could use timelines to show different literary periods or in a science class, students could use timelines to show the scientific contributions over a period of time. Timelines match several Common Core standards including CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.3 (analysis of events).

For all timeline projects described below, students should be sure to include the following information on their timelines:

  • A title of the timeline that tells the reader what is covered
  • For each event: the date it occurred, a short (3-5 word) title for the event, an image and a 1-2 sentence description of the event

If your class is tech-savvy and has access to personal laptops the timeline could be made as a group document or presentation that everyone contributes to and then is projected on a Smart Board with the students explaining their sections. iPads could be used as well, perhaps add questions to each timeline section and have the answer revealed through a QR Code.

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